PI: B. R. Oppenheimer, American Museum of Natural History, email@example.com
Address: Department of Astrophysics, 79th Street @ Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5192, USA
CoI: F. J. Clarke, European Southern Observatory/Chile
CoI: S. T. Hodgkin, Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, UK
CoI: C. G. Tinney, Anglo-Australian Observatory, Australia
Title: The nature of the L/T transition; variability in cool brown dwarfs
Abstract: We propose to monitor a statistically significant sample of L/T type brown dwarfs to determine levels of variability due to dynamic atmospheric processes such as dust cloud formation and destruction. Understanding the behavior of dust clouds is critical to our overall understanding of this class of brown dwarfs. Recent observations and models suggest that the transition from L to T may be due to the rapid evolution of dust clouds. Such models also imply significant levels of variability. In coordinated proposals, we will make a definitive study of this variability on baselines of up to 15 hours, significantly building on our previous work. The large size of our sample is critical to obtain a true measure of variability levels in the L/T brown dwarf population, and will permit us to verify or refute the models of the L/T transition in brown dwarfs.
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